Simulating patient-specific heart shape and motion using SPECT perfusion images with the MCAT phantom

T. L. Faber, E. V. Garcia, D. S. Lalush, W. P. Segars, B. M.W. Tsui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The spline-based Mathematical Cardiac Torso (MCAT) phantom is a realistic software simulation designed to simulate single photon emission computed tomographic (SPECT) data. It incorporates a heart model of known size and shape; thus, it is invaluable for measuring accuracy of acquisition, reconstruction, and post-processing routines. New functionality has been added by replacing the standard heart model with left ventricular (LV) epicardial and endocardial surface points detected from actual patient SPECT perfusion studies. LV surfaces detected from standard post-processing quantitation programs are converted through interpolation in space and time into new B-spline models. Perfusion abnormalities are added to the model based on results of standard perfusion quantification. The new LV is translated and rotated to fit within existing atria and right ventricular models, which are scaled based on the size of the LV. Simulations were created for five different patients with myocardial infarctions who had undergone SPECT perfusion imaging. Shape, size, and motion of the resulting activity map were compared visually to the original SPECT images. In all cases, size, shape and motion of simulated LVs matched well with the original images. Thus, realistic simulations with known physiologic and functional parameters can be created for evaluating efficacy of processing algorithms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-26
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiac function
  • Simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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